Donal McCann - Career Update
Donal is 18 years old and has just completed his final year of studies at Eton College. Originally from Belfast, he joined St. Peter's Cathedral Schola Cantorum in 2008, studying piano and organ with director of music Nigel McClintock. By 2011 Donal had achieved grade 8 with distinction in piano, organ and voice. He attended Methodist College Belfast from 2010 to 2015, where he accompanied award-winning choirs, during which time he was the Organ Scholar in St George’s Parish Church Belfast.
In 2012 Donal began studying piano with Anthony Byrne and organ with Professor Gerard Gillen in Dublin. In 2012 he was also invited to the Young Talents class in the Haarlem International Organ Festival, studying with Olivier Latry and Margaret Phillips. In November 2012 he performed on the Albert Hall organ with the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra at the youth proms, subsequently being asked to tour Italy with CBYO the following year.
In 2013 Donal became the youngest ever winner of the advanced class in the Dublin Feis Ceoil organ competition at the age of 13. He attended the Haarlem Young Talents course again in 2014, with tutors Olivier Latry, Lorenzo Ghielmi and Jos van der Kooy. Shortly after that he achieved second place in the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition.
Donal has given many recitals, including in Hereford as part of the Three Choirs Festival, as well as in Southwark Cathedral, St Lawrence Jewry London and St Michael’s Church Dun Laoghaire. He has also toured many Cathedrals around the UK as visiting organist, such as Chichester Cathedral and Exeter Cathedral. In 2015, he performed Saint-Saens’ 'Organ' Symphony no. 3 with the Ulster Youth Orchestra in Derry's Guildhall, and Belfast's Ulster Hall, under the direction of internationally acclaimed conductor Takuo Yuasa.
In 2015 Donal obtained the Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholarship to Eton College, where he completed his A level studies, alongside organ tutelage from David Goode. At Eton, he toured Germany with the College Chapel Choir, performing in Leipzig, and on the choir’s tour to Venice he also played in St Mark’s Basilica. Donal passed the ARCO examination in February 2015, achieving multiple prizes. In August 2016 he achieved FRCO, receiving the Limpus/Shinn/Durrant prize for the highest mark in the practical examination.
Donal has received a conditional offer to study music in King’s College Cambridge, where he has been elected organ scholar, beginning in October 2017.
Donal won the Organ Competition at Newry Musical Feis in 2013